Current Reviews


Ultimate Six #6

Posted: Thursday, February 5, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Trevor Hairsine (p), Danny Miki (i)

Publisher: Marvel

The Plot:
As Spider-Man stands around uncertain what he should do we see the Ultimates engage the villains that have kidnapped Peter, and his concern for his Aunt May sends Peter into combat on the side of the villains. However he's quickly set straight by Captain America, and he eagerly joins the Ultimates attack. We then see the Ultimates are able to take down most of the Green Goblin's allies, but the final page delivers an unexpected twist.

The Good:
A big battle between the Ultimate Six and the Ultimates on the front lawn of the White House is a cool idea that is partially realized, as there's some wonderful action scenes in this issue, with my personal favorite being Iron Man's struggle against the Sandman, as this encounter does a wonderful job of presenting the Sandman as a threat to our armored hero, while at the same time there's something inherently cool about the way that Iron Man achieves his victory. I also have to make mention to the Wasp's battle with Doctor Octopus, as while the Doctor Octopus fan in me wants to protest at his quick defeat, I have to applaud the way that Brian Michael Bendis has the Wasp win this battle, as it stands up as one of the coolest Wasp moments I've come across in my entire time following the character in the pages of the Avengers. There's also a nice little moment where we see Spider-Man is compelled to do battle against Captain America, and I have to say that while this confrontation never quite materializes, the scene does a wonderful job capturing the personalities of both characters. There's also a nice moment involving Kraven the Hunter, as while he's taken out of the fight before he can even deliver a single attack, his opening speech makes a convincing case for why Spider-Man can expect many return visits from this character, as his hatred is clearly defined in this speech.

Trevor Hairsine knows how to deliver the big impact visuals that this issue requires. The Green Goblin looks like he could give the Hulk a run for his money, as the character looks too big to be contained by the very panels of the issue. The opening pages of this issue also do a wonderful job of placing the stunned Spider-Man in the middle of a highly chaotic scene, and the confrontation that he has with Captain America does an equally impressive job of selling the tension of this moment. I also enjoyed the sequence where the Wasp makes her big attack on Doctor Octopus, as I have to say all thoughts of protesting his quick defeat were quickly dismissed by the sheer agony of that one page spread that leaves little doubt this attack should leave him unconscious on the ground. The Iron Man battle with the Sandman is also well presented as we see Iron Man is clearly getting knocked senseless, which makes his almost casual victory even more impressive, as it nicely conveys his cool head under pressure.

The Bad:
Iron Man's battle with the Sandman was pretty darn cool. The Wasp's battle with Doctor Octopus is also quite memorable thanks largely to the way this battle is brought to a finish. However, once you move past these two page eating encounters the issue is pretty much a collection of cool moments that never quite materialize, rather than a delivery of other encounters that one would've hoped to see. I realize that that opening double-page spread establishes that Thor is being kept occupied by Electro, and Hawkeye is shown running around the battlefield with his bow notched and ready to fire, but for a battle involving this many players there's far too many characters who drop out of sight, leaving readers feeling a bit cheated out of other encounters that could've been just as engaging as Iron Man's struggle with the Sandman. There's also a rather odd scene where we see Kraven the Hunter is closing in on Spider-Man, and after delivering his big speech the character is struck down by literally a bolt from the blue. The battle between Captain America and the Green Goblin also suffers from the simple fact that the two characters aren't really doing much but talking at each other, and Spider-Man is allowed a grand total of one really interesting scene, with Captain America before he's essentially tossed off the battle field for the better part of the issue. I mean his big dramatic confrontation with the Green Goblin lasts a grand total of one punch.

Wasp's Got Your Tongue:
A fairly exciting issue that is somewhat undone by the simple fact that there doesn't seem to be enough room to fit the scope of this battle, and this results in some battles that end up feeling a bit abrupt. Now Iron Man versus Sandman, and Doctor Octopus versus the Wasp are more than enough to have me giving this issue the thumbs up, but Trevor Hairsine's decision to deliver the issue in big, page eating panels results in an issue where it feels like we're only getting a look at half the battles. There are also times when I got the sense that the Ultimate Six were going down a bit too easily, and the situation with Spider-Man is resolved a bit too quickly for my liking. However, the issue managed to deliver enough excitement that I don't expect too many fans will be walk away from this issue isappointed. Plus, the final page surprise is pretty unexpected, and I can't wait to see how this situation plays out, as I get the sense it's not going to end well. Plus, one has to love Spider-Man's reaction to his arrival in the Oval Office.

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